Alan McLean designs with code

He designs health and fitness experiences that feel personal and inspire action. Working at the intersection of design and engineeering, he conceptualizes, prototypes and refines new products for Google Life Sciences. Previously he's led visualization design at Fitbit, designed and built athlete experiences at Strava and interactive graphics in the New York Times Graphics Department.


Fitbit – Cardio Fitness Scores

Research · Product Design · Visual Design

Our goal with this addition to the Fitbit fitness ecosystem was to make an awkaward and slow moving number, V02Max, feel a little more accessible. We accomplished this by introducing normative categories for demographic groups and demonstrating how you could change it. I led the design of this feature from the initial research, product and visual design to final execution.

Fitbit – Reminders to Move

Product Design · Prototyping · Visual Design

Reminders to Move encourages users to increase activity and reduce sedentary time through the day. Working with another Product Designer, Visual Designer and Algorithm designer, I helped explore ways of delivering a positive user experience with potentially negative information. I designed and built numerous live prototypes with real data to help inform the design direction that ultimately ended up in users hands.

Fitbit – SmartTrack and Weekly Goals

Research · Product Design · Visual Design · Prototyping

The goal of the SmartTrack project was to enable a seamless exercise tracking experience while still providing emotional touchpoints to keep users engaged. Smarttrack allowed Fitbit to automatically detect activities like running and cycling, and weekly goals helped ensure there was a meaningful artifact of that frictionless activity capture. I helped define the user experience through extensive user research, experimentation and visual design.

Strava – Athlete Training Log

Research · Product Design · Visual Design · Engineering

The Strava Training Log is an interactive data visualization of an athlete's training that enables users to track training and find notable workouts and races. I led the user experience design and engineering, performing numerous user interviews, building prototypes and delivering the final product to users.

NYT – Women in the Senate

Visual Design · Engineering · Reporting

NYT – The Marathon Route’s Evolving Neighborhoods

Visual Design · Engineering · Reporting · Video Editing

NYT – A Simple Bicycle Race

Visual Design · Engineering · Reporting · Video Editing

NYT – Election 2012 – Swing State Tracker

Visual Design · Editing · Engineering ·

NYT – Girls Lead in Science Exam, but Not in the US

Visual Design · Editing · Engineering ·

NYT – Snowfall

Editing · Engineering ·

Who is this guy?

pic of alan mclean riding a bike

If I could, I'd be on a bike right this instant. Aside from my love of cycling, I was drawn back to the west coast to work on health technology. I'm a type 1 diabetic and spend considerable time experimenting with my insulin pump and CGM via the OpenAPS source code. I studied printmaking in school but somehow ending up designing and writing more code than etching on zinc plates.

Recognition and Awards